Unleashing Nexus One

Google officially revealed its new smartphone this morning, but what most people are talking about is the fact the company has decided to sell the Nexus One as its own branded device. The tech-savvy public commenting on Ars Technica already understand that, “the Nexus One is just another Android phone—the latest and greatest Android phone, and possibly even the latest and greatest smartphone—but an Android phone nonetheless.”

The Google phone looks pretty slick and features a slim touch screen by HTC that is less than half an inch thick. Both the speed and fine resolution screen make it stand out from its competitors. However, some unfortunate features include a pointless and distracting animated background, very little memory for music and photos (4 gigabites), and there is no physical ringer on-off switch.

Compared to the iPhone, the Android 2.1 open source mobile OS enables users true access to multiple applications at once. The new 1-GHz Snapdragon Qualcomm CPU allows this to occur much faster than older versions. The Nexus One will be available to the open source community for $529 unlocked or $179 with a two year T-Mobile service plan.

The new Audi concept cell car boasts a sleek aerodynamic design, but its passenger functionality is a whole other question. Sure, it has an independent axle and center turning drive shafts, and yes, electric motors inside the wheels to promote a kinetic energy recovery system. Actually the whole car is made of a combination of recyclable polymer materials and progressive strong carbon fiver surfaces, which are all pretty incredible.

Designer David Polasek conceptualized the Audi Allivictus with an under-mounted entry and the future in mind. The very unique seating arrangement is the only questionable feature; great for solo drivers, awkward for couples…

Lit from Within

You can now upgrade your home or office with energy efficient light emitting wallpaper. Innovative interior designer Jonas Samson created the two-dimensional light source out of light emitting diodes (LEDs) to conserve energy and save money. While in the off position, the wallpaper is indistinguishable from any other surface covering, but while on, the wall emits a warm glow to illuminate your room through individualized designs.

Samson’s ability to integrate highly advanced technologies with creative design won him recognition from The Future of Things, the exclusive science and technology innovation magazine. Ecco Luce offers custom designs, moving images, different colors, remote controllability, and can be placed on different surfaces.

Sign up with IdeaConnection today to buy or sell an invention of your own. Use your expertise to solve problems for pay or submit your ideas to win cash prizes.

Hands-On Innovation

3M Company’s ‘World of Innovation’ is now open to the public, and if you are willing to travel to St. Paul to check out the new showroom, you can become part of a forum for meeting corporate customers and directly engaging in the innovation process. The center was designed to host executives and provide visitors with a hands on experience, taking them on an engaging and educational journey of the company’s innovation history and future.

3M, yes the Post-it note company, opened its doors and is providing attendees with a glimpse into their developments, products, technologies, and the people who make up its world of innovation. The ‘World of Innovation’ center boasts a Vision Dome Theatre, a permanent installation of a 3D 360 domed theatre that showcases “The Spirit of Innovation.” Paul Williams, from Think For A Change, claims the center provides, “a real purpose, … to stimulate thought.” And Mary Tripsas of the New York Times, notes that, “the idea behind the center is to foster innovation by combining a richer understanding of customer needs with creative links among 3M technologies.”

If you are nowhere near Minnesota and have no travel plans, you can join IdeaConnections’ innovation center from the comforts of your home or workplace. It is a step in the right direction and one that may open your eyes and let you share your ideas with others. Sign up and join a community of thousands of Inventors, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and invite your own community of friends and innovators.

Micheal Jackson’s patent

Not all inventions are new cars that run on strange fuels, new drugs that cure cancer or novel methods of digging wells in the third world.  Sometimes, patents are issued for devices that simply entertain us.  This leads us to Micheal Jackson:

Micheal Jackson’s untimely passing has obviously been very big news – there have been tribute CD’s, tribute movies, tribute youtube videos, tribute magazines, books, and just about everything else.  Michael Jackson has definitely left an impression on this world, not the least for his patented dance moves.

Anti-Gravity Illision Patent
Anti-Gravity Illision Patent

Actually, one of his dance moves is patented.  Well not quite, but at least the mechanical contraption that he invented to facilitate one of his moves is patented.

In Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video, he and the other dancers performed a trick that almost seemed as though they defied gravity – they leaned forward past 45 degrees, keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground.

In the video, they did the trick with wires, but when it came time to perform the song and trick on stage, a new method was developed.  As it turns out, the solution that he came up with turned out to be novel, so he decided to patent it.

Anti-Gravity Boots
Anti-Gravity Boots

A special set of boots were developed, which resembled shoes combined with Jackson’s trademark white socks.  These boots had metal fasteners which, when clipped into metal fittings on stage, would keep the boot solidly attached to the ground.  The wearer could then lean forward without falling, much like you can do in ski boots while wearing skis.

So, maybe take a break from working on your next-gen fuel or your iPhone killer, and spend some time working on your dance moves!

If you;re interested in taking a look at the patent itself, you can take a look at it here, thanks to Google Patent Search.

Oh, and here’s some video of Michael Jackson’s (patented) anti-gravity move.  Enjoy:

Innovation and invention: Why didn’t I think of that?

Sometimes a picture needs almost no explanation:

The clothespin-hanger
The clothespin-hanger

This great idea solves the problem of how to dry all the clothes in the laundry at once, and also helps rid laundry of clothespin marks.  I would imagine that these clotespin-hangers would also double as regular hangers once the clothes are dry.

The sheer simplicity of these hangers is what impresses me most about these innovative and creative hangers.

Video games for kids that are played..outside?

swinxs 1Sometimes innovation comes from completely discarding most everything about an idea that defines it.  One of the major complaints about videos games for kids is that they keep kids indoors, staring at a computer screen or television when they could should be outside playing and getting some exercise.

Playing video games makes us forget how fun it is to actually play outdoors with friends – Why not get rid of the television?  Why not take the gaming console outside?
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The Japanese are an innovative bunch. Everything from cellphones to cars and TV’s have benefited from the Japanese pass time of making products better more interesting.

The latest device coming from Japan is a terminal that gets attached to toilets made by the toilet giant Imax. It analyzes your stool and gives you an instant health report to your cell phone.  Japanese toilets have always been a few steps ahead of the west, but this product even takes thinks a step further.
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Creative people are crazy

Pablo Picasso - Self Portrait
Pablo Picasso - Self Portrait

When I was a child, a doctor once told me that he suspected that I might have attention deficit disorder – ADD (or ADHD as it’s now called).  He went on to say “..but, only a touch of it.  Basically enough to make you creative”. I suspect that he was joking at the time, but it always made me wonder.

I was reminded of this recently when I dug up a report based on research by Professor Arnold Ludwig of the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Ludwig studied over 1000 “original thinkers” in a wide array of professions – art, music, business, science, politics and sports. In his research spannig close to 10 years, he studied these people’s mental fitness, their chosen professions and the releationships between their mental health and career selection. What he found was interesting: Crazy people have jobs that rely on creativity.

The results from his study (“Method and Madness in the Arts and Sciences”) showed that:

  • 9 out of 10 poets studied had diagnosable mental disorders (!)
  • 77% of fiction writers had mental disorders
  • 74% of theater people
  • 73% of painters and other visual artists
  • 68% of musicians (which I think is dead accurate based on my own experience of being in bands!)

This is compared to 18 to 29% for sports, scientists and business people.

Many studies have shown higher rates of depression in creative people as well (how depressing!).

So, the question that begs to be asked is what is the causative relationship? Are creative people crazy, or are crazy people creative?  Dr. Ludwig says:

“Mental illness is not the price people pay for their creative gifts… creative people who are mentally ill find themselves, almost by default, in the arts rather than in business or the other sciences.”

Ok, so being creative doesn’t make us crazy…  Whew, we dodged that bullet. What this does mean, however, is that we may have to deal with more off-kilter-ness from our co-workers and professional relationships if we work in a creative field.

Tell us what you think – do you agree with Dr. Ludwig’s findings, or do you just think he’s crazy being creative?